Tagged: American Made

Inside Maggie Modena: Dog Backpacks Q&A Part II

You may have caught my post last Friday sharing the exciting news that handbag designer Maggie of Maggie Modena is expanding her line into fashionable and functional backpacks for dogs. Her Kickstarter Campaign is so close to being fully funded, but she still needs a few more donations to reach her goal by December 10th.

DOG PACK MAP

So, in case you need a little more incentive to donate to this stylish and adorable project, I’ve got some feedback straight from the source. Maggie’s dog backpacks are already being enjoyed by pups around the world! Here’s what some Pups Who Pack have to say about their Maggie Modena bags!

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NAME: Walter Cronkite
BREED: French bulldog
AGE: 8
LOCATION: Brooklyn, NY
INSTAGRAM: @TheDailyWalter

AOC BLOG GIRL: What’s your favorite thing to carry in your Maggie Modena pack?

WALTER: My cheddar… as in, actual cheese! I also like to store an extra ball or two in there for impromptu meet-ups with my dawgs.

TINKER & TANK: So far, our favorite thing to carry are treats! Our humans also use it to pack our food when we have sleepovers at Grandma’s.

BUBBA: Treats!

OBI: My mom loves how it’s so handy to put her phone and keys inside! When we go for a run, she always hated carrying that stuff in her hand. So now I carry it so easily in my pack!

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NAME: Tinker & Tank
BREED: French Bulldogs
AGES: 2 Years (Tinker, pictured) and 6 Months (Tank)
LOCATION: San Francisco, CA
INSTAGRAM: @TinksandTank

AOC BLOG GIRL: As someone who has used the backpack, what’s your favorite part about it?

WALTER: That Mom lets me pack it myself, therefore ensuring I get extra cheddar. Oh, and the leash attachment and adjustable straps (I make ’em longer for my barrel chest.)

TINKER & TANK: There’s so many things to love about it, but our favorite is the fact that it’s also a harness. It’s so convenient to not have to worry about putting on two separate items to go on walks! And it fits great!

BUBBA: I never forget anything anymore.

OBI: I love that it’s not only super cute but also actually functional!

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NAME: Bubba
BREED: Pug
AGE: 3
LOCATION: Scotland
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Bubbatheblackpug

AOC BLOG GIRL: What’s your favorite place to adventure wearing your backpack?

WALTER: Me and the NYFC (New York Frenchie Crew) got our regular spot at Washington Square Park. I’ll also be taking it with me to Florida for the holidays! Perfect place for my sunscreen.

TINKER & TANK: The streets of San Francisco! We go to dog parks with it, downtown San Francisco, to the beach, and I’m sure there will be many more to add to the list in the near future.

BUBBA: Forest walks, particularly long ones!

OBI: I love to romp in the city with my pack. I feel like a fashion forward urban pup.

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NAME: Obi Wan Kenobi
BREED: French bulldog
AGE: 1 year 9 months
LOCATION: Chicago, IL
INSTAGRAM: @Obi_TheFrenchiePup
OWNER: Blogger Ali Stone of Those White Walls

Whether you’re a dog lover, a fashion fanatic, a fellow designer, an artistic soul, or someone with a passion to support the entrepreneurial spirit, please take this challenge: donate at least $1 to the Maggie Modena Dog Pack Kickstarter CampaignEvery dollar counts, and the more backers, the better!

If you’re still not sure if you’re ready to contribute, be sure to check out my Q&A with Maggie herself to learn more about the creative process that went into designing these accessories for (wo)man’s best friend.

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Inside Maggie Modena: Dog Backpacks Q&A Part I

Yes, you read the title correctly: dog backpacks.

Handbag designer Maggie of Maggie Modena is expanding her line into fashionable and functional accessories for (wo)man’s best friend.

PomPom the Pomeranian

PomPom the Pomeranian

Maggie isn’t just a designer, she’s a multifaceted artist who uses a variety of mediums. The brand was born out of her DJ alter ego, Maggie Modena. Like many creatives, Maggie has always been a little shy and introverted, and the persona of Maggie Modena reminds her to be bolder on a daily basis. She incorporates this same spirit into each of her creations, inspiring those women (or dogs) who wear them to live boldly.

Rhea Dock

Rhea the Pug

I was fortunate to connect with Maggie during my time in Madison, WI, and I’m thrilled to support her latest project, a Kickstarter Campaign for her new line of backpacks for dogs. We sat down over Google+ Hangouts so that I could learn more about the creative process that went into this exciting (and freaking adorable) product.

Walking in front Capitol

Credit: Emily Julka

AOC BLOG GIRL: Describe the creative process that went into conceptualizing the Maggie Modena dog packs.

MAGGIE: Well, about 6 months ago, I decided to make backpacks for my dogs as a break from “serious” fashion. I then realized that I could add a clip on the back, and it would be the same as a harness, only now you can bring items along on your walk. I tested out the sample and brought my dogs, Rhea and Toad, around the capitol square and got a lot of fun reactions. I knew I needed to pursue it after that, at the very least because it made the work crowd smile. I then adjusted the prototype 3-4 times until I felt that its function was what I wanted it to be and that it fit a range of sizes of dogs. It’s kind of mind blowing how much work a small dog bag is!

Design Process

Credit: Emily Julka

AOC BLOG GIRL: What’s the design process that goes into creating the mixed-media textiles for the packs?

MAGGIE: I usually start by gathering a range of inspirational pictures (mostly ones that I’ve taken but some from magazines, online, etc.) and textures from all over the place. From there, I gather them all into one space, determine what the overarching theme seems to be, and pick a story. I then do a couple drawings and paintings that fit within the theme. Next, I scan them into the computer, manipulate and layer them in Photoshop, and make them into a repeat. I usually print several rounds of swatches until I think that the collection looks cohesive yet different enough and that I have at least one “neutral,” one “beautiful,” and one “bold/loud” print. Typically, I have 3 prints per season, but for the dog packs, I have 4!

Textiles

AOC BLOG GIRL: What’s one signature quality about Maggie Modena handbags and dog packs? 

MAGGIE: The unique textiles are definitely the most special quality. Each textile is exclusive to the brand and won’t be seen anywhere else. I try and make them wearable yet fun.

Whether you’re a dog lover, a fashion fanatic, a fellow designer, an artistic soul, or someone with a passion to support the entrepreneurial spirit, please take this challenge: donate at least $1 to the Maggie Modena Dog Pack Kickstarter Campaign. Every dollar counts, and the more backers, the better!

Plus, if you’re ready and able to donate $5 or more, there are awesome gift incentives at each donation level, including a limited quantity of early bird dog packs and human packs that will be shipping in time for the holiday season.

COMING NEXT: Exclusive Interviews with Pups who Pack!

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If you’re still not sure if you’re ready to contribute, don’t take my word for it, don’t take Maggie’s word for it – wait to hear what some Insta-famous Pups who Pack have to say about their Maggie Modena Dog Packs in Part II of this post! Stay tuned!

Inside Yogasmoga

Nothing in New York City ever starts on time. At least that’s what I thought until I discovered the Yogasmoga popup events at the South Street Seaport. When I arrived at the free class with Erika Bloom Pilates, I was ten minutes late, embarrassed, and flustered. I signed in, threw down a mat, and quickly tried to regain some Zen as I began my Pilates practice. At first, I’d been skeptical of doing Pilates in the midst of the concrete jungle, but there was one particular moment during the mat work that changed my mind. We were on our backs doing some bridges, the breeze off the river was washing over us, and as I gazed up between the high-rises at a perfect blue sky, I felt bliss. Needless to say, by the end of the class I was on a high and wanted more than ever to learn about the brand behind the event. I struck up a conversation with a couple of the girls representing Yogasmoga, and the next week, I found myself in their NYC Headquarters.

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Image c/o Yogasmoga || Free classes at the South Street Seaport

Katherine Bacino, Yogasmoga’s New York Community Coordinator & Editor of Rangoli, the brand’s community platform, served as my leader and guide throughout the HQ. There, I met members of the Yogasmoga team, previewed the upcoming fall collection, and got a taste of what’s in the works for the brand in 2016, all while experiencing just who Yogasmoga is.

Katherine started with the basics and explained the story behind the brand’s name. Yogasmoga comes from a Hindi colloquialism that combines a base word (like yoga) and a rhyming word (like smoga). The meaning is “yoga and the things that go with it.” Yogasmoga is not just a brand for yogis. It’s a brand for those who embrace the principles that go with it: joy, energy, and balance.

Yogasmoga our-mantra-of-innovation

Image c/o Yogasmoga || Ft. Carbon 6 Vivacity Long Sleeve Tee

Next we moved on to the upcoming fall collection, which embraces the theme “unrestricted movement.” The motif reflects the brand’s belief that activewear should hug and support the body without compressing or constricting it. This idea immediately hit home. I recently got into a discussion with my dance group about how uncomfortable and unhealthy activewear can be that promises to slim your stomach or slenderize your thighs, leaving lines and indentations on your skin. Instead, Yogasmoga aims to celebrate the natural shape and curves of the body with the mindful design of their fit and fabrics. I’m particularly excited for one of the prints in the upcoming fall line called “Topography.” To create this design, Yogasmoga used a technique called bodymap printing. Typically, patterned fabrics are cut for the desired garment at random, which means the print appears on each article of clothing in a different way. With bodymap printing, the pattern on the fabric is specifically designed to suit the garment and the part of the body on which it’s worn. So, Yogasmoga’s Topography print leggings highlight the line of your waist, curve of your thighs, and muscles in your calves.

Yogasmoga shop-helix-new

Image c/o Yogasmoga || Ft. Carbon 6 Run Jump’N Twist Crop

Finally, the moment of truth arrived. It was time to actually test out the clothes! The minute I slipped on the first pair of leggings, I experienced just how awesome this apparel is. The fabric is rich, mobile, weightless, and just feels good on your body as you move. I’m also completely smitten with the Topography print in the upcoming fall line. It’s a feminine and flattering work of art. I can’t wait to get my hands on a style from the new collection! If you’re having trouble deciding which piece of Yogasmoga apparel to try first, check out the company favorites or some of my own:

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Image c/o Yogasmoga || Ft. Carbon 6 Vivacity Crop

For those in the NYC area, check out the full list of free popup events that Yogasmoga is hosting at the South Street Seaport now through September. Then, follow Yogasmoga on social media, and stay tuned this fall for a series of live panel discussions with the brand. Finally, hold your breath! There’s rumor of a brick and mortar Yogasmoga store opening in NYC next year!

By Elke and Kim Clary Designs Trunk Show Recap

Athens, GA, 2008

ME: That’s an awesome leather bag. Where’d you get it?

JULIE: Thanks! Actually, my friend Elke made it.

It’s hard to forget a name like Elke. So, when my friend Julie shared that By Elke had recently launched a new site, I had to check out the latest designs from the maker of the bag I’d coveted seven years prior. Within a few clicks, I fell in love all over again.

Facebook, click

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NYC, Upper West Side Trunk Show
One of a Kind Summer Bags, Accessories, and Jewelry
By Elke & Kim Clary Designs
Please contact me for details as this is a private event

www.byelke.com, click

Contact, click

It was a beautiful spring day on the evening of the trunk show. When I arrived at the Upper West Side high-rise, I was greeted by a doorman who directed me to the elevator. I entered the third floor apartment warily and walked toward the buzz of chatter and laughter. The spacious living area was lined wall to wall with handbags, satchels, totes, and cross-bodies galore. In the center were tables decorated with clutches, wallets, and other small accessories. The smell of fresh, supple leather permeated the room. Some women were holding up the bags, inspecting their insides, and discussing the various colors and styles. Others were modeling prospective purchases in front of a large wall-mounted mirror.

I kept walking, through a threshold and into another open space with tables of beaded baubles. In this room, women were piling on stacks of bracelets and layering varying lengths of necklaces, contemplating the perfect combinations.

At first, I was overwhelmed. I was standing in the midst of a trunk show in a home on the UWS with a porch larger than my entire East River-adjacent apartment. I was wearing jeans and my comfortable city shoes because I’d walked across town nearly three miles since “the weather was nice” but really to save on cab fare. I was surrounded by some of the most beautiful handmade leather bags and beaded jewelry I’d ever seen, and dozens of well-dressed uptown women were whirling around me, modeling bags and jewelry in the midst of their own personal fashion shows. I needed a drink to diffuse my insecurities.

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After hitting up the spread of refreshments in the kitchen, I was ready to shop. First, I composed a bohemian arm party by pairing beaded bracelets by Kim Clary Designs with By Elke’s leather bangle. Then, it was onto the handbags! Once I spotted this woven clutch (similar here) with tassel detail, I was smitten. After I made my purchases, I took one final moment to bask in the beauty of the spacious UWS home before heading back across five avenues, twenty blocks, and through Central Park to my humble East River-adjacent apartment.

 

Photography by Sonali Prabhu of So Narly

CRAVE: First Edition

Crave, a verb:

1. To long for; want greatly, desire eagerly

2. To require; need

The routine has become second nature to us. We open our Facebook page, Twitter app, Instagram feed, Pinterest board, we start scrolling, and we click, click, click away at that little Like button as something passes by that strikes our fancy. In what feels like a matter of minutes, an hour passes, we close the tab or window or app, and we resume our day. But what happens to all the Likes? Just as quickly as we endorse a photo, article, video, we forget. Where does all our interest go? Is it really that fleeting? Or are we so overloaded with things we Like that the next time we visit our accounts, we hastily move on to the next interesting thing?

Call me a virtual hoarder, but I compile my Likes. I visit my activity log on Facebook, view posts I’ve liked on Instagram, scroll through my favorites on Twitter, and look through my likes on Pinterest. And in a much less robotic and more engaged manner, I extract the information I actually like and bookmark it in a folder called Cravings. Here are some of the most recent things I crave:


BRYR CLOGS

Bryr horizontal

Longing for… sandal season? Add an open-toed clog to your spring and summer shoe collection. Bryr clogs are designed and handmade in San Francisco using traditional European wood bases and American leather.


TASTEMADE

Tastemade

Hungry for… innovative eats? Download Tastemade to watch food adventures, cooking shows, and local quicktakes. Find the perfect recipe for your next dinner party or the tastiest restaurant for your next date night or girl’s night out.


LAZZARI

Lazzari

Yearning for… European style? Check out the Italian clothing and accessories brand Lazzari. Thanks to their collaboration with amazing North Carolina based artist Jordan Grace Owens, I discovered this unique European label.


THE NEW POTATO

TNP vertical

Itching for… an innovative online magazine? Add The New Potato to your reading list. It started with sisters Danielle & Laura Kosann and the basic concept, “everyone has to eat.” From there, they blur the lines between food, fashion, design, and media in every article.


CALORIE-FRIENDLY COCKTAILS

DIY Life Skinnygirl Cocktails for Spring

Thirsty for… calorie-friendly spring cocktails? Visit the Elvis Duran Morning Show site for three recipes featuring Skinnygirl wine and liquor courtesy of DIY savant, Web Girl Kathleen.


BY ELKE

Elke horizontal

Pining for… a new leather bag? Look no further than By Elke. These one-of-a-kind and small-run leather and vintage canvas bags are handmade in Boulder, Colorado using repurposed, antique, and vintage materials.